Change is afoot at Arsenal Football Club. Arsene Wenger is gone. Long-term defender Per Mertesacker has hung up his boots. Unai Emery has been announced as the new manager and, to top it off, the club has signed a new shirt-sponsorship deal with the central-east African nation Rwanda.
The three-year deal with the English Premier League club will be its first ever sleeve sponsorship, the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) said in a statement.
The “Visit Rwanda” logo will be emblazoned on the left sleeve on all first team, Under-23 and Arsenal Women’s shirts from the beginning of the new season this summer.
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Arsenal and showcasing the vibrancy and beauty of our country,” said Clare Akamanzi, CEO of RDB.
The deal aims to highlight Rwanda’s tourist hotspots, like the national parks, rainforests and wildlife.
Last year 1.3 million people visited Rwanda, the RDB reports, and tourism is the country’s largest foreign exchange earner.
Rwanda will hope to attract visitors by being visible on one of world football’s most popular clubs.
“The Arsenal shirt is seen 35 million times a day around the world,” said Vinai Venkatesham, Arsenal’s Chief Commercial Officer, in a statement on the club’s website. They haven’t disclosed the financial details.
Arsenal is the sixth largest football club in the world, according to Deloitte. Manchester United have the top spot, followed by Real Madrid.